EPA tells Norfolk Southern to pay for Ohio train cleanup | WORLD
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EPA tells Norfolk Southern to pay for Ohio train cleanup

The cleanup of portions of a Norfolk Southern freight train that derailed Feb. 3 in East Palestine, Ohio, continues. Associated Press/Photo by Gene J. Puskar, File

EPA tells Norfolk Southern to pay for Ohio train cleanup

On Tuesday, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) told Norfolk Southern—the largest container rail network in eastern North America—to clean up any contaminated air and water in East Palestine and repay the federal government for all the cleanup it has already done. Roughly 50 train cars derailed near the Ohio town earlier this month. Some train cars carried toxic materials, which authorities had to release in a controlled manner. The agency said it would do the cleanup itself if Norfolk Southern refused, but it would charge the company triple for damages.

Can the EPA actually do that? Yes, it can. The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, commonly called Superfund, gives the EPA the authority to make those responsible for environmental hazards clean them up, or pay the EPA to do so. The EPA said the order marked the end of the “emergency” phase of cleanup and the beginning of long-term remediation efforts.

Dig deeper: Read Lauren Canterberry’s report in The Sift about how residents in Ohio are filing lawsuits against Norfolk Southern for the train derailment.

Josh Schumacher

Josh is a breaking news reporter for WORLD. He’s a graduate of World Journalism Institute and Patrick Henry College.

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